Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A brilliant green blister beetle (Lytta vesicatoria or Cantharis vesicatoria) of central and southern Europe.
  • n. A toxic preparation of the crushed, dried bodies of this beetle, formerly used as a counter-irritant for skin blisters and as an aphrodisiac.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Singular form of cantharides.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A beetle (Lytta vesicatoria, syn. Cantharis vesicatoria), having an elongated cylindrical body of a brilliant green color, and a nauseous odor; the blister fly or blister beetle, of the apothecary; -- also called Spanish fly. Many other species of Lytta, used for the same purpose, take the same name. See Blister beetle, under blister. The plural form in usually applied to the dried insects used in medicine.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A genus of coleopterous insects having the head separated from the thorax by a neck; the type of the family Cantharidæ.
  • n. [lowercase; pl. cantharides (kan-thar′ i-dēz).] A member of the genus Cantharis.

Etymologies

Latin cantharis, cantharid-, from Greek kantharis, from kantharos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin cantharis, from Ancient Greek κανθαρίς (kantharis). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.